Ch 15 Colonial Expansion

CH.15-COLONIAL EXPANSION

Hits: 1845

CHAPTER XV: COLONIAL EXPANSION

SECTION 2: CANADA AND AUSTRALIA

 

THE DEVELOPMENT OF THESE COUNTRIES WAS DETERMINED BY THEIR GEOGRAPHICAL SITUATION AND FEATURES.

CANADA WAS ON THE FRINGE OF THE USA, WITH A NARROW STRIP OF FERTILE LAND TO THE SOUTH AND THE REST AN ARTIC WASTE.

THE ST LAWRENCE RIVER WAS THE EXCEPTION, AS ITS BASIN WAS THE ONLY SETTLED AREA. WHEN THE AMERICAN COLONISTS WON THEIR INDEPENDENCE, IT WAS INHABITATED BY FRENCH SETTLERS.

CONSEQUENTLY, WHEN AMERICA REVOLTED, CANADA REMAINED AN ENGLISH COLONY, AND THE TWO COUNTRIES EXPANDED WESTWARD ALONG INDEPENDENT LINES.

AFTER THE AMERICAN WAR, 40,000 UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS MOVED NORTH.

THE FRENCH, THOUGH STILL A MAJORITY, WERE SURROUNDED.

FOR ADMINISTRATIVE PURPOSES, CANADA WAS DIVIDED INTO TWO PROVINCES: UPPER CANADA, MAINLY ENGLISH, AND LOWER CANADA OR QUEBEC, MAINLY FRENCH.

DURING THE NEXT 30 YEARS, A STEADY FLOW OF IMMIGRANTS FROM ENGLAND INCREASED THE POPULATION, BUT THE COUNTRY REMAINED DESOLATE, APART FROM THE MONTREAL AREA. THIS WAS IN CONTRAST TO THE AMERICAN SIDE.

IN 1837, BOTH ENGLISH AND FRENCH REBELLED INDEPENDENTLY AGAINST MISRULE BY DOWNING STREET AND THE OCCUPATION OF LANDS BY THE UNSUPPORTED CHURCHES.

THE REBELLIONS WERE PUT DOWN, BUT ENGLAND, FEARING ANOTHER UNITED STATES OF CANADA, GRANTED DOMINION HOME RULE TO CANADA, PLACING POWER IN THE HANDS OF THE ENGLISH SETTLERS.

WHEAT BECAME THE MOST IMPORTANT EXPORT, AND ENGLAND WAS THE IMPORTER.

GETTING IT ACROSS THE COUNTRY NEEDED A WEST TO EAST RAIL LINK, AS THE ONLY ALTERNAIVE WAS A LINK WITH AMERICA.

BRITISH COLOMBIA ONLY AGREED TO JOIN THE DOMINION ON CONDITION THAT THE RAILWAY WAS BUILT.

DELAYS DUE TO GRAFT AND INEFFICIENCY SCANDALS LED TO THE RESIGNATION OF TWO GOVERNMENTS.

THE RAILWAY SERVED ITS PURPOSE BUT NEEDED HUGE SUBSIDIES. THE OPENING OF PANANA CANAL LESSENED ITS IMPORTANCE.

HOWEVER, TRADE DEVELOPED, AND, AS WELL AS WHEAT, FISH, FURS AND TIMBER, TIMBER PULP WAS EXPORTED FOR THE NEWS INDUSTRY MAINLY IN ENGLAND, ITS MAIN MARKET EVEN TODAY.

AUSTRALIA, ON THE OTHER HAND, WAS AT THE OTHER END OF THE WORLD, RIGHT OFF THE MAIN SHIPPING AND TRADING ROUTES. IT WAS THE LAST CONTINENT TO BE ‘DISCOVERED’ AND DEVELOPED.


THE ISOLATION WAS NO DISADVANTAGE FOR ITS FIRST USE, THAT OF A CONVICT SETTLEMENT.

BETWEEN 1786 AND 1840, THOUSANDS OF THE WORST AND THE BEST ENGLISH PEOPLE WERE TRANSPORTED THERE.

IN SPITE OF BRUTAL TREATMENT, MANY BECAME SELF SUPPORTING FARMERS AND ARTISANS. OTHERS ESCAPED INTO THE INTERIOR AND BECAME BANDITS AND BUSHRANGERS.

SHEEP RANCHES WERE DELIBERATELY INTRODUCED AFTER THE NAPOLEONIC WARS, WHEN WEST RIDING FACTORIES HAD DIFFICULTY OBTAINING SUFFICIENT SUPPLIES OF WOOL.

VAST TRACTS OF LAND WERE HANDED OVER TO RICH CAPITALISTS, WHO OWNED HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SHEEP.

THESE ‘SQUATTERS’ WERE DRAWN FROM GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS AND SOON BECAME A POWERFUL NATIVE ARISTOCRACY. BITTER CONFLICTS GREW BETWEEN THEM AND THE POORER SETTLERS FOR CONTROL OF THE BEST LANDS.

THE PROBLEM FOR THE RULING CLASS WAS TO FIND LABOURERS ENOUGH WHERE LAND WAS TO BE HAD FOR NOTHING.

THE PROBLEM WAS CONTROLLING AND SUBJUGATING THE WEALTH-PRODUCING CLASS, WHO COULD BE TRANSPORTED AS MEN FREE TO OBTAIN A PIECE OF LAND.

MARX SAID “THE WAGE LABOURER OF TODAY IS TOMORROW AN INDEPENDENT, WORKING FOR HIMSELF. HE VANISHES FROM THE LABOUR MARKET, BUT NOT INTO THE WORK HOUSE… THE LABOURER LOSES ALONG WITH THE INDEPENDENCE AND ALSO THE SENTIMENT OF DEPENDENCE ON THE ABSTEMIOUS CAPITALIST.”

THIS HAD THE EFFECT OF RETARDING THE ACCUMULATION OF CAPITAL AND PREVENTING IT FROM FLOWING FREELY INTO THE NEW COLONY.

WAKEFIELD AND FRIENDS DEVISED AN INGENIOUS SCHEME TO COUNTER LABOUR SHORTAGES. THEY PUT AN END TO FREE GRANTS OF LAND TO THE COLONISTS AND INSTEAD SOLD IT WHERE POSSIBLE AT AS HIGH A PRICE AS THEY COULD.

IN THIS WAY, SETTLERS WITOUT CAPITAL HAD TO WORK AS LABOURERS BEFORE THEY COULD HOPE TO OWN ANY LAND.

THE PRODUCT OF THE SALE WAS USED TO SUBSIDISE MORE EMIGRATION SO THAT A CONTINUOUS FLOW OF LABOUR WAS SENT TO REPLACE THOSE WHO BECAME INDEPENDENT.

THE PRICE OF LAND INCREASED, AND THE PRICE OF LABOUR FELL, UNTIL THE COLONY BECAME A GENUINELY CIVILISED COUNTRY WITH FULLY ESTABLISHED CAPITALISM.

EVEN THE TREE GROWING GRANT WAS ABOLISHED IN 1840, BUT ONE OF THE EFFECTS WAS TO DIVERT THE STREAM OF EMIGRANTS AWAY FROM AUSTRALIA TO THE USA AND NEW ZEALAND.

A STRUGGLE FOR LABOUR IN AUSTRALIA CONTINUED, AND THE GOLD RUSH MADE IT HARDER TO OBTAIN SHEPHERDS AND SHEARERS.

TAXES FAILED TO CONTAIN THE SQUATTERS, AND TRADE UNIONISM DEVELOPED ON THE LINES INDENTICAL TO THE CHARTISTS.

TAXES WERE REDUCED, BUT POLICE REPRESSION INCREASED.

IN 1852, THE MINERS REVOLTED AND PROCLAIMED AN AUSTRALIAN REPUBLIC. UP TO 40 WERE KILLED, BUT THE GOVERNMENT BACKED DOWN. IN 1858, A NEW CONSTITUTION WITH UNIVERSAL MANHOOD FRANCHISE WAS CONCEDED.

PETER LALOR, THE LEADER, HAD BEEN INJURED IN THE STRUGGLE OF EUREKA STOCKADE AND WAS ELECTED WITH A HUGE VOTE.

GOLD DEPOSITS GAVE OUT, BUT THE POPULATION DID INCREASE FROM 200,000 IN 1840 TO 2.3 MILLION IN 1881.

SHEEP FARMING AND MINING CONTINUED, BUT, WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF THE RAILWAY, CONSIDERABLE INDUSTRIES WERE DEVELOPED.

TODAY, THE POPULATION EXPLOSION IS CENTRED IN FIVE MAJOR CITIES, BUT THE MAIN LINES OF CONFLICT ARE BETWEEN THE AUSTRALIAN MASSES AND BRITISH AND AMERICAN CAPITAL AND THEIR BANKS, WITH WHOSE CAPITAL AUSTRALIAN DEVELOPMENT, INCLUDING THE MINING COMPANIES, IS FINANCED AND WHO YEARLY TAKE HUGE INTEREST ON THEIR CAPITAL.

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